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Higher Education Benefits from Lottery Programs
8/30/2007 3:02:00 PM

Higher Education Students Begin Academic Year with
Help from Education Lottery Appropriations

COLUMBIA, SC (August 30, 2007) – Students in higher education are starting their academic year with the help of revenues from the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL.) These funds provide students with the resources, programs and tuition assistance necessary for successful learning. Since the start of the Lottery on January 7, 2002, the South Carolina Legislature has appropriated more than $1.73 billion to expand educational opportunities through fiscal year 2007-08.

As of July 16, 2007, more than $1 billion has been appropriated to Higher Education by the Legislature from the Education Lottery Account, including $180 million towards the Endowed Chairs Program. This matching-funds program creates Research Centers of Economic Excellence attracting world-class scientists or "endowed chairs" to the state's three research universities: Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina.

“At USC in Columbia, about 98% of eligible freshmen are entering college with a lottery-funded scholarship which enables them to focus on their studies without having to worry about tuition payment, room and board,” said Dr. Scott Verzyl, undergraduate admissions director at USC’s Columbia Campus. “Since the beginning of the lottery-funded scholarships, we have experienced increased participation in undergraduate research programs, extracurricular activities and studying abroad. These programs enable our graduating students to be an asset to our economy.”

Dr. Verzyl said lottery-funded scholarships help allow students to consider education beyond the four-year degree. “Additionally, more of our undergraduate students are indicating they are interested in pursuing a graduate degree. The lottery-funded scholarships help make this possible because they are less likely to go into debt and take out student loans for their undergraduate education.”

Students attending technical and two-year colleges also benefit from lottery appropriations. “The lottery-funded scholarship has allowed me to go to college and put 100% of my concentration on classes without having to work part-time,” said Audrey Kennedy, a nursing student at Midlands Technical College. “It gives me extra time to go to open labs and ask for help from my professors. I can get any extra help that I need at school, and my GPA shows it.”

The SCEL markets fun and entertaining games in a responsible manner. The funds are appropriated by the General Assembly to supplement educational programs. Since start up, more than $1.73 billion in lottery proceeds has been appropriated towards educational programs including K-12 programs, the Endowed Chairs Program at South Carolina’s three research universities, and higher education scholarships. Learn more about how education is winning by visiting www.sceducationlottery.com — Where Education Wins!

Pictures and Interviews are available upon request.

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